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Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration


Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel

This Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration is the first encyclopaedia which combines two so far not well interconnected interdisciplinary research fields, i.e. Border Studies and European Studies. Organised in an alphabetical order, it contains 207 articles written by 115 authors from different countries and scientific disciplines which are accompanied by 58 maps. The articles deal with theory, terminology, concepts, actors, themes and spaces of neighbourhood relations at European borders and in borderlands of and around the European Union (EU). Taking into account a multi-scale perspective from the local to the global, the Critical Dictionary follows a combined historical-geographical approach and is co-directed by Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel, with a large contribution of Jean Peyrony and Jean Rubio from the Mission opérationnelle transfrontalère (MOT), especially for the cartography. The Dictionary is also part of four Jean Monnet activities supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union for the period 2016-2022: two Jean Monnet projects on EU border regions (University Strasbourg), one Jean Monnet network (Frontem) and the Franco-German Jean Monnet excellence Center in Strasbourg, as well as the Jean Monnet Chair of Bernard Reitel on borders and European integration. Rather than being designed as an objective compilation of facts and figures, it should serve as a critical tool for discussion between researchers, students and practitioners working in the field of borders, cross-border cooperation and European Integration.

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For Emile Durkheim, who introduced the concept of cohesion in social sciences and inspired the “solidarist” doctrine, as well as the French conception of state legitimated by its provision of public services, social cohesion is ensured by the social division of labour, but also by law and governmental action. His seminal book also evoked the “interregional division of labor”: the specialization and interdependence of spaces and so announces the territorial dimension of cohesion.

The Treaty of Rome already aimed at ensuring a “harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the least favored regions”. Closely associated with the history of the European Union (EU), the objective of economic and social cohesion appeared officially in the treaties in 1986 with the Single Act. In this context, it corresponded to the idea of solidarity, implemented through the European Cohesion Policy, which was supposed to secure the participation to the internal market of all citizens (social cohesion, with the European Social Fund (ESF) supporting employment and inclusion) and all regions (economic cohesion, with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supporting territorial investments and all at once reducing disparities between states, between and within regions). This was the essence of the so-called Jacques Delors’ “package”. All European and national policies were supposed to contribute to cohesion. As Fabrizio Barca explained in the report he wrote in 2009 for the European Commission, the Cohesion Policy was to be implemented in a decentralized way through...

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